Government will bring ordinance on SC/ST Act if needed: Paswan


Government will bring ordinance on SC/ST Act if needed: Paswan

In response to this, the government has written, "the court is not filling in gaps, but on the other hand, is amending through judicial legislation, the Atrocities Act and the Code, thereby defeating the salutary provisions of the Act".

"We felt that the government's law officers could not effectively and clearly put the Centre's views on this before the court when the matter was being heard", the minister said.

Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said the NDA government is committed to maintaining the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in its original form and would consider bringing an ordinance if required.

Stressing that the separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary was "inviolable", the attorney general asked the Supreme Court to review its judgment and recall the changes it made to the Act's provisions.

Taking the scope of the review petition beyond the given case and reminding the court of the separation of powers, the government has submitted that "in India, separation of powers being part of the basic structure of the Constitution, there was no room for the court declaring that it could legislate and make plenary law". A Supreme Court bench, comprising Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit, on Thursday resumed hearing in the case against which the Centre had filed a review petition on April 2 following a Bharat Bandh call by various Dalit groups that saw nine people die in the ensuing violence across Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. It held that a public servant can only be arrested after approval of the appointing authority. Else, sources said, the government could just bring amendment strengthening the SC/ST Atrocities Act. "They might not know what is in the order or they may have been misled with people having vested interest". The next day, the court refused to freeze its decision and said its intention was to protect individual rights.

According to media reports, the Centre has also said that the apex court's verdict has damaged the country's harmony.